Asparagus and Wild Garlic Risotto, with Spicy Shrimp

And while we’re on the topic of Spring Veg, here is another recipe to whet your appetite… risotto, asparagus, wild garlic (ramps, ransom, German: Bärlauch) and shrimp. Resfreshing and actually quite light, creamy and fresh and spring-like. I really really have this thing for ramps (here are all the recipes from last year) so I have to make the most of the very very short season… only a few weeks. Dinner tonight.

for the risotto
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, very finely diced
2 cups asparagus, cut to 1/2 inch pieces (reserve the tips for the part below, at 2 inch pieces)
1 3/4 cup Arborio rice
3/4 cups dry white Wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons ramps, finely diced (wild garlic, white and light green parts (save green leaves for garnish)

for the asparagus and shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup asparagus tips, at about 2 inch pieces
6 21/25 count shrimp per person, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
green parts of wild ramps, finely chopped

Bring broth to a simmer in a medium pan. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add diced shallot and cook until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the asparagus and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes. Add uncooked rice and stir for a minute or two, allowing it to be coated with the other ingredients. Pour in wine and cook for a minute or two.

Now, start adding broth a cup to a cup and a half at a time, stirring gently and allowing each addition to absorb into the rice. Repeat for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rice is al dente. (You might not need to use all the broth.) At the end, add in the remaining asparagus stir in a little more liquid and turn off heat. Add parmesan and wild garlic and stir. Salt and pepper to taste (be careful not to over-salt — both the chicken broth — even if you use the low sodium kind — and parmesan are salty.

During the last few minutes of the risotto cook time, prep the shrimp and asparagus tips. In a small bowl, spice shrimp with salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. In another sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Sauté asparagus tips for 4-5 minutes. Set aside in a bowl and keep warm. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil and add shrimp, being very careful not to overcook (2-3 minutes, maximum). Add to the bowl with the asparagus and toss with lemon juice and wild garlic. Serve with / on top of risotto; serve immediately.




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